Nature

Putting the Brakes on the Malheur Miscreants

Editor’s Note:  After 41 days of occupation, the standoff no longer stands.  For an update by Jake Klonoski, please scroll to the end of this post.   Saturday, I sliced into a medium rare steak hot off the grill. Smothered in garlic, salt and pepper, it was delicious. The evening’s news rambled in the background. When the news anchor turned to an Oregon report about a group of armed men still holding the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge hostage, my blood pressure jumped a []

No Knee Ski, But Great Times

…a few days before this Christmas when I spent a night in my daughter and her husband’s Taos Ski Valley condo. It’s near the first chairlift. Looking out the patio door I recalled taking both my daughters, who were about 11 and 13 at the time, for a day skiing there.

The View From a Field-Anchored Bench

Acres of brown and late summer-weary grasses that were born green in the spring, bend to a cool breeze spawned from the sea below and the sky above. It’s like sitting in the center of a terrarium of earth, sea, and sky.

A Periwinkle Sweater Waits for Winter

“This is like living in a third-world country with high-end tax bills!” I screamed while scrubbing the bathroom with the captured water, which was not going to leave enough water to flush the toilet later on. I took a break. When I looked at my garden, the artichoke plants drooped like my sullen mood. They needed water. Thank goodness we captured some rainwater from the roof into a 300-gallon tank that sits in the driveway. It’s the new drought fashion accessory.

California’s Rich Field Moment

…the moistened soil–autumn-sun warmed–seduced dormant seeds awake. A resurrection of green slipped through the layer of fallen leaves and dried grasses. By morning a thunderous roar filled the canyon. The Kaweah River no longer struggled to trickle through plump gray boulders.

Life & Toes in Drought

See this map? See the blood-red area of California along the coast? That’s where I live. It’s Exceptional-droughtland. And less than a year ago, our local community water providers left Pollyanna-land, and informed us citizens that there was a huge likelihood of our wells going dry by late 2014.

How Apples & Pennies Defeated Terrorism

But something went terribly wrong. On Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, horror stuck America. I asked, “Should I cancel the fundraiser?” The resounding reply was, “No! If ever we needed to do something good, and enjoy our country’s harvest, we need a day in your orchard. Keep the event!”